The kosher cookbook market continues to flourish, and it can be difficult to know which cookbooks are the right match for each home cook. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses in the kitchen; some like to try varied international cuisines, while others prefer to stick with the more familiar; and, of course, some people are happy to spend time making complex recipes, but others are staunchly in the quick-and-easy-only camp.

From time to time I’ll be reviewing different cookbooks here, giving you a little glimpse inside each one, to help you decide which ones might be a good investment for you.

Have you heard about the new Silver Platter cookbook? It came out a few months ago, and I’ve heard so much about it. The publishers have sent me a copy to review, as well as several recipes from the book that I’ve included below (click on the picture or name of the dish to be taken to the recipe). We also have a second copy of the cookbook for one lucky reader!

What’s so special about this cookbook? Norene Gilletz, the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada, has teamed up with Daniella Silver, a previously unpublished newcomer to the kosher cooking scene. Together they have created a masterpiece—The Silver Platter.

Israeli-Style Satay with Tahini Dipping Sauce


Each recipe in this book is accompanied by a vibrant full-page color photograph, so you know exactly what to expect. To me, that is what makes or breaks a cookbook. For the most part, the photos are nicely styled but still realistic-looking.

Rocky Road Brownie Cake


I’d say The Silver Platter is very American-style. It features elegant appetizers such as Roasted Asparagus with Poached Eggs, everyday favorites like Chunky Chili and Sesame Ginger Chicken, kid-friendly offerings such as Halibut Fish Sticks, and succulent mains including Bourbon Marinated Prime Rib, innovative sides like Apple Cranberry Couscous, plus plenty of sweet treats, like Fudgy Pretzel Brownies.

Its tagline is “Wholesome, family-friendly recipes,” which is mostly accurate, although almost every time I have seen people recommending this book it seems to be promoted as “all-natural” and “whole ingredients,” which I did not find to be true. Many of the meat and chicken recipes do use significant amounts of ketchup/brown sugar/apricot jam/barbecue sauce/honey etc., which I found disappointing. Nevertheless, there are many, many genuinely fresh, healthy and innovative vegetable soups, salads and sides.

In all, The Silver Platter contains 160 recipes, most of which do not call for any specialty or hard-to-find ingredients, and each recipe includes tips and comments from Norene Gilletz. Many of the recipes are gluten-free and kosher for Passover, and nutrition information for all the recipes is included at the back of the book.

Black Rice with Mango, Pomegranate and Avocado

Who Will Enjoy this Cookbook?

Is this cookbook for you? I can’t answer that question for you, but we’ve shared four recipes here with you, which you can try out for yourselves, and then decide.

One of the recipes that really caught my eye was this exciting and visually appealing salmon:

Cedar-Planked Salmon with Strawberry-Chili Salsa

Grilling on a cedar plank is a simple way to cook and serve salmon, infusing it with a subtle smokiness. Strawberries make a perfect counterpoint to the salsa’s chili pepper. The plank keeps the fish warm while serving.

You will need:

  • 1 or 2 untreated cedar planks (about 12 × 7 inches)

Salsa Ingredients:

  • 2 cups diced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint or basil
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • 1 serrano or jalapeño chili pepper, finely diced (remove seeds first for less heat)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

Fish Ingredients:

  • 4–6 salmon fillets (about 6 oz/180 g each)
  • 1–2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Soak 1 or 2 cedar planks in cold water for at least 1 hour. Top planks with two or three unopened cans to keep them submerged while soaking.
  2. Salsa: In a medium bowl, stir together strawberries, onion, mint, oil, lime juice, chili pepper, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. Fish: Preheat grill to medium-high. Remove plank(s) from water and place on hot grate over indirect heat for 6–8 minutes, until hot. Using tongs, carefully turn plank(s) over and place salmon fillets on top. Brush fillets with oil; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cover grill and cook for 12–15 minutes, or until salmon flakes when lightly pressed with a fork. It’s not necessary to turn the salmon.
  5. Remove from grill and spoon salsa over the salmon. Serve salmon directly from the plank(s).

Yields: 4–6 servings

Norene’s Notes:

Oven Method: Place soaked planks onto a baking sheet. Top with salmon; brush fish with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake in a preheated 425° F oven for 12–15 minutes. As the water evaporates from the plank(s), steam will be released, keeping the fish moist and aromatic.


So, is The Silver Platter a cookbook you’d love to own? We are giving away a free copy to one lucky reader. It could be you! To enter, leave a comment letting us know why kosher cooking is important to you.

NOTE: Cookbook can be shipped only in the U.S. Entries must be made by 11:59 PM EST on Wednesday, January 13, 2016. Winner will be chosen on Thursday, January 14, 2016.